Adobe just released a pretty interesting study, finding that the share of website visits from tablets grew about 10 times faster than the rate of smartphones within two years of market introduction, and by over 300% in the last year. The growth, the company says, is driven by higher tablet shipments and disproportionately higher site visits per tablet.
That's really only part of the story though. The majority of sites are not optimized for mobile, and this is reflected when users view them on smartphones. Tablets, however, tend to handle the sites better, to where the optimization isn't as much of a factor.
"Tablets are better for surfing than smartphones," Adobe Digital Index Director, Austin Bankhead, tells WebProNews.
"Although consumers consider the tablet website experience to be nearly as engaging as with PCs, they use PCs to visit websites three times as frequently as tablets," Adobe notes in the report as one of its major findings. "However, near-term developments in the tablet market will erode the advantages of PC-browsing, causing consumers to shift more website visits from PCs to tablets."
While this data is not in the report, Bankhead also tells us about 80% of the traffic came from iPad devices. That traffic will likely become more diversified in the near future, as various developments in the tablet space occur. Bankhead mentioned Windows 8 and Android specifically.
According to Adobe's report, tablets' share of site traffic will exceed smartphone traffic by early next year, reaching 10% of total site traffic early the following year.
Bankhead calls the study a "heads up for brands". The web is big on tablets, and "Apps are not the cure all for all mobile problems."
"The App is not the answer," for brand engagement with customers, he says.
If anything, the data speaks volumes about how poor the smartphone web experience is, and how sites should be spending a little time making that less of an issue. At least with tablets, the lack of mobile optimization is not as evident. And at the growth rate portrayed in Adobe's report, that's good news.
I wouldn't expect smartphones to be going away anytime soon though.